Shadows: young people dealing with conflict
Communities in Ireland are increasingly divided. Many young migrants have experienced armed conflict, endured long and complicated journeys prior to their arrival and now they face racism, institutional discrimination, identity issues, cultural and intergenerational clashes as they struggle to find their place in Irish communities where social problems already exist.
Based on these observations the Shadows: young people dealing with conflict aimed to build mutual learning, partnership, exchange, respect and dialogue between youth workers, while keeping young people at the core. It brought together 12 young adults (aged 20 – 30) from diverse cultural, social and religious backgrounds from Ireland and Lebanon to work together in Beirut, Lebanon, for one week to explore ways to transform conflict in their own lives and what they would like to share with other young people experiencing conflict.
During this week of working together, the participants developed a video-based resource pack to be used in education settings (formal and non-formal) with the aim of engaging young people to participate in conflict transformation. This involved exploring histories, memories, identity, anger, and journeys of transformation.
This educational tool developed during the course of the project explored conflict transformation in the context of living in culturally and socially diverse communities where racism has become a destabilizing force.
In preparation for the week-long training, youth workers from Lebanon came to Ireland to engage in dialogue with Irish youth workers for sharing experiences and practices. This resulted in a skill transfer of Irish youth work methodologies - on engaging young people (especially older young people) from different backgrounds (refugees, asylum seekers, street children, young offenders, victims of violence etc), on using integration opportunities, engaging in conflict management and in peace promotion.
The project was led by the National Youth Council of Ireland in partnership with Al-Jana in Lebanon. The project was supported by the Anna Lindh Foundation. Partners in Ireland included Bluebell Youth Service and Rialto Youth Project.